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‘Tis the summer of Ontario Beaches!

 

If you’re keeping up with my insta stories, you know that my family is travelling across Ontario this summer to the best beaches this province has to offer this! And boy, are the beaches stunning! I was born and raised in Ontario and I had no idea these beaches existed so close to home. We are determined to expose our children to all kinds of outdoors experiences-we started with hiking and now we are on to beach getaways! Here is a list of the beaches we have been to so far this summer and some of my observations about them:

Crystal Beach

https://www.visitniagaracanada.com/do/crystal-beach/

  • Sandy beach, comfortable to walk on and the kids can sit and make sand castles happily
  • Shallow water for a good while before it gets deep
  • Baby friendly beach
  • Family friendly beach
  • No beach amenities. Amenities like washrooms and food are across the street at the shops.
  • Beach is a decent size but note that half the beach is for the private residences which is not open to the public (there’s a barrier). Seems like wasted beach to me as no one was on it when we were there!
  • Parking is about a three minute walk from the beach – street parking and paid beach lots
  • Don’t recommend bringing strollers- no paved walkway to beach and it is very hard getting the stroller though all of the sand!

Grand Bend Beach

https://www.ontariossouthwest.com/ways-to-play/beaches/grand-bend/

  • Beach has lots of gravel mixed in with sand, very uncomfortable to walk on and kids can’t sit and play by the water because of this 🙁
  • Deep water from the start
  • Amenities are great- washrooms, outdoor rinsing stations, food, parasailing etc.
  • Family beach
  • Life guards on duty
  • Paid beach parking about a two minute walk from beach
  • I don’t recommend this beach for families like mine with young children. The beach is too gravelly and with the water being so deep I was constantly on edge as soon as my son attempted to run in

Long Point Beach

https://www.norfolktourism.ca/long-point/

  • Sandy beach, comfortable to walk on and the kids can sit and make sand castles happily
  • Shallow water for a good while before it gets deep
  • Baby friendly beach
  • Family friendly beach
  • Beach amenities include washrooms
  • Parking is about a three minute walk from the beach – Long Point Provincial parking was $14 for the day pass
  • Can bring strollers- no paved walkway to beach just a mesh piece they’ve put on the sand which actually helps to get strollers across the sand!
  • Beach is massive approx 40km long!
  • My favourite Ontario beach (so far!)

Lake Kelso

http://www.conservationhalton.ca/park-details?park=kelso

  • Sand is a mix of fine sand and gravel but it’s comfortable to walk on and suitable for kids to sit and make sand castles
  • Shallow water for a good while before it gets deep
  • Baby friendly beach
  • Family friendly beach
  • Beach amenities include washrooms, concession stands, feet washing stations
  • Beach is about a 10 minute walk from the parking lot. Downhill if you have a stroller (but scary with a double !) and steep stairs to go down for everyone else
  • Beach is big
  • This is less than 10 minutes away from my house so it’s local and super convenient for us!

Wasaga Beach- Beach #1

https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/wasagabeach

  • Sandy beach, comfortable to walk on and for the kids to sit and make sand castles
  • Longest freshwater beach in the world!
  • Shallow water for a good while before it gets deep
  • Baby friendly beach
  • Family friendly beach
  • Easy accessible amenities- bathrooms, lots of variety of food, etc
  • Parking is about a five minute walk from the beach – paid beach lots about $20 for the day pass
  • Beach #1 at Wasaga is very busy and has always been busy every time we go. Most likely due to all of the restaurants being in this area. Here is a great breakdown of the different beach areas Wasaga has to offer: https://www.wasaga.com/beach-areas

 

I hope this list of Ontario beaches has been helpful! I will keep updating the list as we continue to explore. Stay tuned for my beach-must-haves blog post coming soon!

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How to Keep Your Bathroom Organized and Clean

Disclosure: I have partnered with Kitchen Stuff Plus and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

I just love a clean and organized home, clutter free leads to being stress free and it’s more enjoyable living life! Don’t you agree? With spring just around the corner, I am tackling my organization and cleaning projects around the home now! I am starting with my master bathroom and sharing tips in hopes you get inspired to do the same!

Tips to achieving an organized and clean bathroom:

De-cluttter first, then organize

Go through all of your bathroom cabinets and drawers and de-clutter everything. If you haven’t used the item in over a month, question why you’re hanging on to it! For example, I had multiple mascaras (some even dried out…whoops!) which I ended up tossing out! Not sure why I was hanging on to those! I also had lots of items in packaging that were taking up precious space! So, just like in my kitchen organization project, I took everything out of the packaging and used these bath canisters to store them in. Once you’ve de-cluttered you can get organizing (the FUN part!!)

Daily Maintenance

Keep all of your counter space and surfaces clear of clutter. This makes it very easy to quickly do a daily wipe down of the surfaces. Let’s be real, dust collects really fast and keeping a washroom clean can be hard work. But if you upkeep your daily maintenance, the dreaded weekly cleaning of the house, doesn’t seem so dreadful! My tip is to have cleaning supplies handy (mines are in our upstairs laundry room high up in the shelves so my baby’s can’t reach them!) and set a routine: wipe down counters/sink, followed by the dreaded toilet and then bathtub, followed by cleaning the mirror(s).

Glass Shower Organization and Maintenance

This leads into the next section of the washroom, the dreaded glass shower. Anyone else avoid cleaning their glass shower because it takes forever and is just way too labour intensive!? I used too, in fact, I even delegated this task to my husband. But once a month cleaning was not enough for me as the water stains/build up was getting to be too much, I needed a better solution. Enter the OXO Good Grip Bath Flexible Squeegee . Having easy access to this tool (it hangs up on a removable suction sup holder right on your tile walls in the shower) has changed my life. No, really I’m serious! Once the shower is done, you take the squeegee and wipe down all the glass….leaving a streak free, shiny and sparking glass shower! And it literally takes less than two minutes to achieve this!

An organization tip I have for the shower is to use a shower caddy. This will give your shower a clean look and keep your essentials handy and off of the bottom ledge for easy cleaning. We use this one by Inter Design and I love it. It looks wonderful in my sleek shower and all of my shower time goodies fit on it. Putting this shower caddy up was simple and will not damage your tiles as it uses suction cups to stay up. It’s also very strong so it can hold numerous items.

Daily essentials

Lately I have been slacking in my skin care routine because as a mom of a two and one year old, I am way too exhausted by the time night comes around and I end up washing my face with whatever is closest to the sink….hand soap *gasp*. I know, this is just horrible for my skin, stripping my skin of all of it’s natural oils.  So I thought what better way to address this than in my bathroom organization project.  I now have this clear 3-drawer organizer with my face wash, toner, face masks etc in it. Along with a drawer for my dental care items in the next drawer. Followed by some more toiletries in the last drawer. I have left this out on my counter right next to the sink for now, but once I get into the routine of using my items (rather than hand soap to wash my face!) I can easily tuck this into my cabinet for easy access.

I also use this InterDesign power lock spin toothbrush holder because if you haven’t guessed it yet, the less I have on the counters, the happier I am!! This fits both my toothbrush and toothpaste.

Spruce up your bath mats

An easy update to any bathroom is upgrading your bat mats. Bath mats come in many colours and varieties to suit your style. I personally love the Harman spa loop microfibre mats I have! The slate colour matches my bathroom perfectly and these are the plushest bath mats we’ve had! They also help prevent slipping on the cold wet tiles of the bathroom, especially after a shower!

Add a touch of artwork to your bathroom

This will really help pull everything together and give your bathroom a finished look. Try to keep the colour palette similar throughout the room to maintain harmony. I chose something to get me motivated right from the morning. because as a mom of young ones, I need all the motivation I can get!!!

 

My master bathroom is now my dream bathroom…and we didn’t even have to do any renovations to it! I’ll let you in on a secret: we haven’t even painted our master bathroom since we bought the house five years ago. I know right?! You would’ve never known! But with the lovely touches mentioned in this blog, a little effort and the right products, go a long way!! I hope you are inspired to get your spring cleaning on!

-Tabassum xoxo

Once your bathroom is clean treat yourself to some bath bombs and enjoy your fresh and clean new space!

 

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6 Baby Bath Time Tips

Disclosure: I have partnered with Kitchen Stuff Plus and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Does bath time with the kids leave you completely soaked? Have you put the babes in the bath only to realize you forgot some bath time essentials? Is your bathroom full of baby bath toys? Been there…done that!

After having two babies in two years (YES, you read that correctly!) I have mastered the art of giving a baby a bath. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows though and I have learned from many bath time mistakes. I have implemented these 6 bath time tips which have made our bath time routine at home so much better! I have grown to love giving both of my babies a bath, filled with lots of giggles (perfect way to unwind and get ready for bed!).

Here are the 6 tips for any mom out there struggling to get through baby bath time!

1. Invest in the Memory Foam Bathmat (Your knees will thank you!)

All that kneeling down while giving your baby a bath can get rough on your knees. This is where a good quality memory foam bathmat comes in. Not only does this Harman Supreme Large Microfiber Memory Foam Bathmat look great while matching my decor but my knees are spared!  A definite win for this mama!

2. Use a Bath Tub Mat

My kids love bubble baths…but that can get really slippery in the tub.  That’s why I use the Splash Softee Foam Bath Tub Mat ! This non-slip mat features suction cups underneath to keep it in place. Having this mat in the tub is an essential tool to keep your baby safe during bath time!

3. Storage for Baby Bath Time Toys

Every baby loves playing with toys in the bath and every mom hates walking into the bathroom and stepping on these said toys….ouch! The solution is to have some storage right in the bathtub so once bath time is over, you can rinse the toys and place them in the basket. The InterDesign Powerlock Corner Basket is what I use and it has become a life saver! There a lot of baby bath storage items on the market but they’re so colourful and just don’t go with my bathroom decor! This is why I love this clear corner basket! It also features strong suction cups that won’t ruin your bathtub tiles!

4. Keep a Laundry Hamper Handy

I don’t know about you but before I started doing this I used to have my babies clothes on my bathroom floor for days before I got around to picking them up…eww, I know! Bath time just gets so busy once you pick up the little one from the tub; you have to haul them to their room, dry them off and get them ready for bed!  Anyways, my solution is to keep the laundry hamper right in the washroom to make my life easier and my bathroom tidier! This laundry basket is stylish, durable and easy to carry to the laundry room! A bathroom must have!

5. Gather Baby Bath Time Items BEFORE you Run the Bath

This tip is really important. A little pre-planning and organization before the bath starts is so essential. This is because once your baby is in the tub, you cannot leave them alone…even for a second! Keep your baby safe please! Anyways, the solution is to gather all the items you need – towel, lotion, comb, wash cloths, hair dryer (I use a travel hairdryer for my kids!), nail clippers and so on before you start. I use this handy  Made Smart Bath Tidy Soft Grip Tote to gather all of the items before hand – and it fits perfectly under the sink when not in use!

6. Invest in a Bath Towel Apron for Yourself

After giving many, many baths to my first baby and always being completely soaked afterwards, my lovely friend gifted me a towel apron that protected me from all of the splishing and splashing that comes along with bath time! This was a total life changer! I no longer have to do outfit changes after bathing my kids! It’s basically an apron made from towel material so it’s super absorbent and comfortable! Definitely something every mom with young children should have!

These 6 tips have really changed bath time for me and my kids; think less stress and more fun and bonding time with your little ones! Good luck mamas!

-Tabassum

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkey is a Superfood!

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Turkey Farmers of Ontario and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Turkey is a recognized super food!! It’s low in fat, packed with nutrients and a healthy alternative to other proteins.  See infographic for all things that #makesitsuper

Now that it’s clear that turkey is a nutritional powerhouse, lets talk about introducing it into our daily lives! I know traditionally turkey was reserved for holidays and/or big gatherings but not anymore! I can think of so many recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that include TURKEY!!! I’ve decided that we’re making it a protein essential in our house due to it’s versatile nature. What do I mean? Keep reading below!

You all know that I LOVE to meal prep! Now this doesn’t mean that I cook seven meals in one day. It means that I do all my food prep on the weekend to make my life easier during the week! And this is where turkey comes in. I went to my local grocery store and picked up an Ontario raised turkey and got cooking! This was the end result:

Yum! With a little meal prep on the weekend, I was able to use the meat from this one turkey to create numerous meals for the remainder of the week! Score! I will share those recipes with you in blog posts to follow…stay tuned!

Not going to lie guys, I was super intimidated when I found out I had to cook a turkey. That’s because I had never made one before! Turns out, it’s really not that complicated! You just need to be super organized and gather all the items you need before you get started. Sounds pretty much like any other meal I create!

Here is the simple recipe I used to create my turkey-I purposefully kept the recipe simple so I could add a ton of different flavours to the other meals I was planning to create with all of the leftover meat!

 

5 from 1 vote
Print

Course Breakfast, Dinner, Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 10
Author Tabassum

Ingredients

  • 1 Turkey thawed
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 1 Onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 Lemon quartered
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil or melted butter
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Parsley
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Sage

Instructions

  1. Remove turkey from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for atleast 30 minutes. 

  2. Please oven rack on lowest position. 

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  4. Gather all items needed to prep turkey (roasting pan, spices, meat thermometer etc)

  5. Coat roasting pan with oil/cooking spray.

  6. Prep Turkey: Remove the turkey from the packaging and dry off with paper towel. If the turkey has a metal or plastic clamp holding the legs together, remove it and discard. Remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey (these will be loose in the cavities of the turkey).

  7. Add salt and pepper into the cavity opening and rub these spices all over the cavity with your hands. Think of this as a dry rub and we're building the flavour from the inside out! 

  8. Stuff the lemon, onion and fresh herbs into this seasoned cavity.

  9. Overlap the skin to close the cavity and use bakers twine to tie the turkey legs together.

  10. Tuck wings under the turkey body.

  11. Pat the turkey dry and brush with olive oil. Place the turkey breast side down in roasting rack. Brush the other side with olive oil now making sure the entire turkey is slathered in goodness. 

  12. Place the turkey in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees. After the hour is up, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and cook for another hour.

  13. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and flip the turkey over, so breast side is facing up. Return to oven and bake from another hour.

  14. Remove turkey from the oven and check internal temperature using meat thermometer. Reading should be 165 in three places: innermost part of thigh, thickest part of the breast and under the wing.

  15. Cooking times vary. A good estimate is 13 minutes per pound. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to make sure the turkey is properly cooked!

  16. When the turkey is done, remove from oven and and allow turkey to rest undisturbed for 30-60 minutes.

  17. Carve, serve and enjoy! 

  18. There will be LOTS of leftovers to use in more meals for the rest of the week! So exciting!

For my first time making a turkey….I was thoroughly impressed with my skills, haha! However, I did a weeks worth of research on prepping a turkey and I am now confident in my recipe! Plus now that I know turkey is packed with vitamins and nutrients, low in cholesterol and sodium, and free of added hormones and steroids, it’s a perfect healthy alternative for any meal! I will definitely be making whole turkey again and creating lots of recipes from the leftover meat! Who wants to join me in including turkey, a nutritional powerhouse, into our homes and not just for special occasions! #makesitsuper

Stay tuned for what I came up with using my turkey leftovers!

-Tabassum

HELPFUL LINKS

Nutritional factshttp://makesitsuper.ca/all-about-ontario-turkey/get-the-facts/ 

How to storehttp://makesitsuper.ca/all-about-ontario-turkey/storing/  

All About Turkey http://makesitsuper.ca/all-about-ontario-turkey/whole-turkey/

 

 

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Fridge Organization with Kitchen Stuff Plus

The Kitchen Stuff Plus Organization Event is on until February 11th-use promo code: KASHMIRIFOODIE-10 to save 10% off your purchase both in store and online. The products I have used can be found here: (LINK: http://ksp.store/organizingwithkashmirifoodie)

Steps to Maintaining an Organized Fridge 

Last week I shared ways to organize your kitchen cupboards (LINK: Kitchen Organization) and this week I am sharing how to organize your fridge for easy access and optimal efficiency with products provided by Kitchen Stuff Plus for their Organization Event on now until February 11th!

Like most family’s, we do grocery shopping every week. Thankfully we’ve got it down to a tee now and aren’t running to the grocery store multiple times a week like we used too! Lately, I’ve been making the grocery list and my husband is doing the actual shopping with my son. While they are out, I quickly empty out the fridge contents (which isn’t much by the end of the week because we go through the food so quick with two growing kids!) and give the entire fridge a wipe down. This ensures there aren’t any random spills/food particles and so forth hiding in there! This also allows me to see the contents leftover from the previous week (if any!) and to ensure we use those first before the new food items gets used. Reduced food wastage is the goal!

 

Weekly cleaning of fridge

Stocked & Organized Fridge

The products I have used in the fridge are: -the Herb keeper -the Fresh Milk Dispenser -Clear Storage Bins -Clear Egg Holder. All of the products I used can be found here: http://ksp.store/organizingwithkashmirifoodie Don’t forget to use my promo code: Kashmirifoodie-10

 

Here’s a closer look at the products I used from Kitchen Stuff Plus that really helped me achieve an organized fridge (which makes me WAY more efficient in the kitchen too!):

Starfrit Gourmet Herb Keeper:
(LINK: BUY HERE)
I used to store my cilantro in the clear grocery store bag it came in. It would go bad in a few days. I was afraid to put a glass in the fridge holding my herbs in case the glass broke. This Herb Keeper is a winner!
This product is easy to use and my cilantro stays fresh for WEEKS! Yep you read that correct! Just place water in the bottom to the max. fill line, put the herbs inside and place in fridge. Fresh herbs for weeks folks!!!
Egg Holder
(LINK: BUY HERE)
This clear egg organizer is great. I love looking into my fridge knowing how many eggs I have left to use.
So happy to have found this product-the egg containers from the grocery store just wasn’t cutting it anymore!
The egg holder is easy to clean too!
Fresh Milk Bag Dispenser
(LINK: BUY NOW)
This fresh milk bag dispenser is a vertical organizing fridge solution! Goodbye large and awkward milk bag taking up an entire shelf in my fridge! Three milk bags can be stored in this dispenser.
I only had one milk bag left for purposes of this photo-but a total of three can fit inside. By using this product, I have room left on my dairy shelf in the fridge for yogurt and cheese!

 

Clear Fridge Storage Bins

(LINK: BUY NOW)
These storage bins are super versatile. I eliminated the need for a tupperware for my grapes by using this bin. It looks pretty and is functional. I do recommend placing berries in mason jars or tupperware however!
The fridge storage bins also come in different sizes, as seen here. I love that I can fit three fridge storage solutions on one shelf!
This is the InterDesign Linus Fridge ‘n Pantry Binz – Cube. This is now my onion, garlic and ginger bin. I pretty much pull this out every time I’m prepping dinner! So useful to have one of these!

 

The Kitchen Stuff Plus Organization Event is on now in stores and online until February 11th (use promo code KASHMIRIFOODIE-10 to save 10% off your purchase both in store and online). All of the items I used to organize my kitchen can be found here: http://ksp.store/organizingwithkashmirifoodie

That’s our new organized fridge! Now it’s time for YOU to get busy organizing yours!

Good luck!

-Tabassum